It was Christmas morning and the whole family sat all about in a circle on various living-room furniture.
The little girl, the youngest, had proudly claimed the slightly overstuffed chair that matched the couch. It was brownish grey with random threads of red, green, and blue, and no one liked to sit in it normally because it was right beside the TV and you couldn’t see. She, on the other hand, was small enough to sit in many different positions in the chair and so, in her mind, was saving the rest of her family from the discomfort of sitting in that chair.
All the presents had been handed out and they had begun their tradition of one person opening one present at a time, starting with the youngest and cycling up to the oldest (the father). They had reached a late middle point of opening presents when it became the little girls turn.
She picked up a small box wrapped in red. Happily she ripped off the paper and, with the help of her older brother and his pocket knife, got the cardboard box open. Inside the box was another smaller box with a logo on it she didn’t recognize. She flipped it over looking for the opening flap. After a few long moments of not finding a way to open it, her brother came to her aid again showing her it was a sleeve, like a match box. She pushed on the appropriate side and the white portion slid outward.
Suddenly something fell into her lap, slipping straight to the chair seat through her crossed legs. She reached down and then, not finding it with her fingers, uncrossed her legs and half stood up in the chair. There it was!
It had slid down the depression of the chair seat to rest by her foot. It was pink, long, and skinny, only about the size of her pointer finger, with rounded ends and the same logo as the sleeved box. She looked at it strangely, not understanding what it was. Her dad then told her it was a pocket knife and how to unfold it; she did so. Admiring the silver part, which made it twice as long, she began to twist and turn it.
Now it was her sister’s turn to open a present and the rest of her family was turning their attention to her. Then the little girl noticed a little something red, like juice, on the silver part. Then she realized the same red was on the pad of her pointer finger in a perfectly round circle.
Not quite understanding what it was, she decided to show her father. She stood up and, rather unceremoniously, made her way through the black garbage bags full of used wrapping paper, empty boxes, and presents still to be opened, to where her father sat. She had a little trouble catching his attention because they were all watching her sister.
When she did get it, she also caught her mother’s attention. Her mother started to get excited but her father soothed her before calmly telling his littlest daughter that the silver part of the knife was sharp and that she had cut her finger.
They moved in to another room where her father found and applied some antiseptic and a band aid, even though it was only a very small cut. The little girl was disgusted with the little knife and vowed, silently, to never again use it.
She still has it today and uses at least once a week.